Recorded as Brackwell, Brakewell, Brockwell, Brookwell, and probably others, this is an English surname of pre medieval origins. It derives from the pre 7th century words 'broc waella' meaning the spring that flows into the brook. In ancient times a brook was not necessarily a stream, but could be any stretch of water still or flowing, including a lake. A village called Brockwell in past times existed in South East London near Dulwich, and judging by the number of recordings in the surviving registers of the city of London, was the original 'home' of this surname. Locational surnames were usually 'from' names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original village to move somewhere else, usually in search of work. In so doing they took, or were given, as their surname the name of their former home. Early examples of recordings include Daniell Brockwell who married Magdalin Scale at St Bride's Fleet Street, on October 16th 1623, and David Brookwell who married Elizabeth Silcock at St George's chapel, Hanover Square, Westminster, on January 16th 1820.